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How Recyclable Is An Airliner?  
User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1062 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3493 times:

This may be more of a Tech/ops forum topic, but I am listing it here as I believe there will be a lot of general interest.

Aircraft alloys, most prominently Aluminum and Titanium, have all sorts of components, some of them precluding their recycling into consumer products. What future for the scrap at Victorville, etc? Can the Aluminum be recovered for new aircraft or other purpose? Seems to be a lot of hulks out there people could cut up, but don't.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3442 times:

Tarmac Aerosave in Tarbes, France, can recycle up to 85% of an Airbus airliner. Airbus owns a share of the company. Check their website:
http://www.tarmacaerosave.aero/index_en.html


User currently offlinecobra27 From Slovenia, joined May 2001, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3362 times:

On one show, they said that some materials are used for cell phones

User currently offlineSYfan100 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 590 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

I can tell you I don't work in the Airline Business but all the Milk Gallon containers you recycle most have gone to helping make patio chairs and other patio stuff.
So how I look at it is are knowledge has gotten better with learning about how to reruse this stuff better for other things, it really has helped in the overall end regardless what it is.
All though I will admit I think the Sour Cream Containers have become way to cheap when it comes to plastic or Yogurt containers if any of you have noticed when by accident dropping one.
The old joke was cut up planes got used for Beer Cans and Pepsi Cans.


User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4036 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

Well here in ARN about 10 years ago we withdrew a Tristar from service. A couple of mechanics removed all the parts that we thought had a value, they did at the time because we still operated tristars. Then we had the aircraft left on the ground. The airport was moaning, and wanted it removed. The boss said we can't really afford to get it taken away, but in the end he was forced to contact a scrap metal firm to ask for a quote.
He was very surprised. They came and removed it all in lorry loads of scrap metal, and they paid a load of money to us for the doing it. The airline was scared they could not afford to remove the hulk, but made a load of money from it.
Yes I wonder why there are so many aircraft sitting on the ground in the desert.


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4402 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 4):
Yes I wonder why there are so many aircraft sitting on the ground in the desert.

Speculation. Scrap metal prizes are dancing currently, with 50% changes up and down a week, and a factor 4 below what they were two years ago. Owners expect prizes to go up again once economy is up again - and decisions 2 years ago were dictated by deathly greed.


User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1062 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

Quoting SYfan100 (Reply 3):
The old joke was cut up planes got used for Beer Cans and Pepsi Cans.

Apparently not possible with aircraft alloys, not food safe.

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 4):
The airline was scared they could not afford to remove the hulk, but made a load of money from it.
Yes I wonder why there are so many aircraft sitting on the ground in the desert.

Maybe the scrap company didn't know what they were doing and thought they could sell the metal for beverage cans like above. Hence, many planes in the desert.. maybe not so much one can use AC aluminum for. It is VERY hard to work / machine among other things, and has a high non Aluminum content


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2795 times:

As regulated, Aircraft metals cannot be recycled to be used again as aircraft components. The automotive industry is an eager recipient of the metals as well as many other industries. The re use of aerospace materials is highly regulated as many hazards exist with airframes. Older ships, (747's) actually have uranium as counterbalance weights on some of their flight controls. Those small red EXIT signs contain Radioactive Tritium in them. Some composites contain Boron. Not to mention the skydrol and fuel contamination. The interior plastics and composites are usually discarded...As you can see, the airframes are not as friendly as you would think.

Many of the aircraft you see in these yards are not always destined for the scrap pile...many are stored till the market picks up again while others that don't conform to US standards await buyers from other nations that don't have standards as high as in the US. Many of the larger airframes will be converted into freighters while many smaller types, 737/300/400 series will be broken up as they are numerous enough.

Will be interesting to see how carbon fibre airframes will be handled...I am to understand that the issue of recycling CFRP airframes is already under study and testing. I'm not sure if it is more a function of disposal of the product rather than for recycling as during the process, it is hazardous...g


User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6127 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2670 times:
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Quoting Burkhard (Reply 5):
. Scrap metal prizes are dancing currently

Yesterday I was paid at $200 a ton for iron and .55 cents a pound for cast alumunum. Used car batteries were $8 each. The price has gone up and down a few times in the last three years. Not all that long ago Iron was at $50 a ton.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 7):
Will be interesting to see how carbon fibre airframes will be handled

There was a report yesterday on WWJ 950 in Detroit about how automotive companies are buying scrap carbon fiber from aircraft parts makers. The fiber is recycled and used in car parts. The story said that about 30% of the carbon fiber used in the aircraft industry goes in the scrap pile. Speculation is that the carbon fiber scrap price will be going up.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlinelitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2535 times:
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Much of that aluminum gets recast as engine blocks, as many of today's high-performance, high-tech car engines require very high grade alloys ... aircraft aluminum alloys are a perfect match.

- litz


User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1062 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2273 times:

Quoting litz (Reply 9):
Much of that aluminum gets recast as engine blocks, as many of today's high-performance, high-tech car engines require very high grade alloys ... aircraft aluminum alloys are a perfect match.

- litz

Good to know!


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